Aug 8, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 530: Batman Incorporated #7, March 2013

I wanna read the next issue! I wanna read the next issue!

We start this volume of Batman Incorporated at the end, and then flash back to a month earlier, and the series really does move quickly enough that you believe this is all happening in a remarkably short period of time. It makes sense. Having had the build up for the last few years, once Talia's plan kicks into gear, it kicks in hard, leaving little chance for our heroes to catch their breath and figure things out.

The titular character actually only appears on two pages of this issue, the rest being dedicated to the Bat-team scrambling to get control of the situation. There's a nice bit of the three Robins (Dick, Jason, Tim), and Dick taking charge, as he really ought to be, and a really lovely interaction between Alfred and Damian that reminds us, yet again, of the integral role the faithful butler plays in this tale of superheroes and villains.

The Knight is dead, which is tragic, and though brief, the treatment we see of it, of Squire's reaction, is moving. Superhero comics are often deceptive in their attempts at tragedy, because we know, even if a character is killed off, that the status quo will remain, that, more often than not, the character will return from the dead. But this series is doing a really nice job of making it seem like things might actually fall apart, that the heroes might not win. And The Knight's death makes that feeling all the more palpable. The Hood's betrayal, though perhaps inevitable, was one I'd forgotten. I kind of hoped he'd made the change of allegiances to Batman, Inc., but I guess not. We'll see how that plays out in the next few issues. What gets me is that there's 5 issues left, and I think that they're going to depict probably an hour or so of action. It makes leaving a day between reads hard because the pace is break-neck and exciting. Once I'm done with this title, and with Morrison's Bat-Opus, I think I'm going to have to find some single-issue comics to read, just to get my equilibrium back. But this is the joy of the superhero comic, right? A really well-told story can throw off your equilibrium like this, it can insert itself into your life and inform your day. Especially when you have to wait a month (or two) between issues. At least I just have to suffer with Bruce trapped in a safe at the bottom of a swimming pool for 24 hours. Do you think he can hold his breath that long?


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